Regita Zeiļa, director of the Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia, Agnese Frīdenberga, chief researcher at the Centre for Public Policy Providus, Inga Muižniece, founder of the call centre Sonido and Diāna Lapkis, founder and CEO of the social entrepreneurship accelerator New Door are all included in the top 100 list.
From over 900 nominations, the jury selected 100 women with outstanding leadership skills and a commitment to do more, inspiring other women to reach their potential in social entrepreneurship. The women nominated have successfully implemented social projects of different scales with a positive social impact, contributing to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Four women from Latvia have been included in the top 100:
- Regita Zeiļa, director of the Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia, has been working in the social entrepreneurship sector since 2017, implementing social entrepreneurship development projects and creating a network of social entrepreneurship ambassadors. Her active work in advocacy for social enterprises resulted in the inclusion of social entrepreneurship development in the government declaration in 2022, making it a national priority.
- Agnese Frīdenberga, chief researcher at the Centre for Public Policy Providus, together with the Centre’s team, initiated research on social entrepreneurship by conducting the study Latvia on the Road to Social Entrepreneurship in 2012. In the following years, she was involved in the founding of the Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia and the creation of the Social Enterprise Law and is currently active in the council of the Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia, the Social Enterprise Commission of the Ministry of Welfare, researching the role of socially responsible public procurement and informing about its opportunities.
- Inga Muižniece, founder and manager of the call centre Sonido, a social enterprise employing people with disabilities, which Labs of Latvia has written about. In addition to her commercial activities, she has also launched an unusual social project called Parunāsim (Let’s Talk): a phone line for people who feel lonely. It is a step closer to an inclusive society and work integration, which has also been recognised with the 2020 Disability Support Award in the category Promoter of Employment. Sonido’s social project Parunāsim was created in autumn 2018 to give people who feel lonely the opportunity to call someone and be listened to. Since then, the phone line has received almost 21,000 calls. This is not Muižniece’s first time on the list!
- Diāna Lapkis, co-founder of the first social entrepreneurship accelerator in the Baltics and the innovation platform New Door, is also an active consultant in the fields of social entrepreneurship, social innovation, and corporate social responsibility, as well as a mentor for social entrepreneurs and a member of the Social Enterprise Commission of the Ministry of Welfare.